While it’s usually possible to recycle plastic or glass bottles, the caps are another story entirely. If you’re cringing at the thought of sending dozens of caps to a landfill after a party, then you could always upcycle them into something more useful. Indeed, there are all manner of creative ways to reuse old bottle caps, from home décor and artwork to toys and jewelry.
20. These wind chimes
You’ll need a lot of bottle caps for this one, but even if you’re not a big soda fan, it’s not difficult to get your hands on them. Indeed, you can even order them online. And once you have, making wind chimes is simple. Just punch holes in two sides of each cap and use jump rings to chain them together beneath a topper.
19. These candles
That’s right – bottle caps really do make for tiny, but awesome, candleholders. To make complete candles, then, all you need to do is melt down some crayons, pour the wax into the upturned cap and throw in a wick. Voila: colorful, cheap and environmentally-friendly candles. Just remember to add a scent to the melted wax, as “burnt crayon” isn’t the most delightful smell.
18. This flower ornament
If you’re looking to upcycle your old bottle caps into something a little more decorative, you could try this flower ornament. It may look complex, but it’s actually deceptively simple. Indeed, all you need is a pair of pliers to bend the caps into the shape of petals. Then glue them on to a tin can lid to achieve the full flower effect.
17. This mirror
As conversation-starting furniture goes, this mirror is definitely up there. And it’s a super easy project to do yourself at home. Indeed, all you have to do is glue down bottle caps to the edge of a round mirror. Leave it to dry for 24 hours, and it’ll be ready to hang in whatever space you like.
16. This flag
Ever thought of using bottle caps to show off your patriotic side? Just make sure you have enough in the right colors, then lay them out in a frame to line everything up. Once you’re happy with it, simply glue them down. And if you want to give your flag a little more character, you can salvage bottle caps from different drinks for the same color.
15. This basket
It’s not just metal bottle caps that can prove useful when it comes to upcycling. Indeed, plastic bottle caps can also be great for crafting projects. Just take a look at this basket, constructed using dozens of colorful caps. Coat the base layer in saran wrap to plug any gaps, then glue on the caps for the basket wall.
14. These fridge magnets
Sure, you’ll need to buy the actual magnet component of these fridge ornaments separately, but if you add in bottle caps, you’ve got unlimited potential for creative designs. Indeed, you can decorate them in any way you like, using whatever materials you have to hand. In this example, dictionary pages give the base some flavor before adding Scrabble-like letters on top.
13. These mini pie dishes
Quell your stomach pangs – these aren’t real, edible pies. No, delectable as they may look, they’re actually made from felt, glue and beads. What’s the point then, you may ask? Well, they’re great for giving to your kids to use with their dolls, for instance. And you could even combine them with the previous suggestion for appropriately themed kitchen décor.
12. These earrings
If you fancy imbuing a bit of history into your jewelry, try tracking down some vintage bottle caps for this inspired piece of upcycling. Not only will you have a stylish pair of earrings, but their retro nature will likely turn a few heads too. All you need to do is punch a hole in the caps and thread a head-pin through it.
11. This checkers game
You’ll need some checkered fabric for the board, but otherwise, you can play checkers using just bottle caps. Indeed, they even stack brilliantly for kings. Just make sure you have two matching sets of 12 caps and you’re good to go. Don’t worry if you can’t find enough matching caps, either – you can always paint them in the desired color.
10. This pin cushion ring
If you’re crafty enough to be reusing bottle caps in the first place, then chances are you’re going to find a use for a pin cushion. And having one on your finger is about as handy as it gets. To make a pin cushion ring then, simply gather some old fabric into a pouf, stuff it and glue it to a bottle cap. Glue the assembly to a ring, and you’re good to go.
9. These fishing lures
If you’re going fishing any time soon, try putting together these simple, yet ingenious, fishing lures. Once you’ve folded the cap in half, drill through the fold at either end, then insert split rings into the holes. Afterwards, add a swivel connector and a hook – and voila: charming, vintage and super-creative fishing lures.
8. This bar top
There’s a lot of room to get creative with bottle cap bar tops. After all, you can use the hundreds of caps required to do basically anything you like. For instance, you could write something, or create a mosaic-like image. Or, as in this case, you could simply grade the various colors down the length of the bar for an understated but awesome effect.
7. This ornament
If your creative juices are flowing, you can use a bottle cap as a base for something a little more adventurous – at least as far as ornaments go. This detailed decoration, for instance, uses cotton string and beads for an intricate pattern that can fit in anywhere. Indeed, you could use it as a necklace, but it wouldn’t look amiss hanging on a Christmas tree either.
6. This art installation
When it comes to mediums through which to express your inner artist, there are virtually no restrictions. And that means bottle caps are most definitely on the table, as this awe-inspiring installation at Maryland proves. Each clear bottle cap represents one of the 13,699 deaths that occur each day from diseases caused by a lack of clean water.
5. This action figure
This may just be the coolest use of bottle caps we’ve ever seen. And we’re sure every kid out there will agree – after all, who doesn’t want an awesome action figure they can completely customize however they like? Yes, thanks to the DIY nature of this bottle cap hero, the possibilities are practically endless.
4. These shakers
It couldn’t be easier to make these bottle cap shakers. All you need to do is glue a couple of caps together, once you’ve filled them with something to get that shaking sound – for instance, popcorn or rice should do the trick. Then you can decorate them to your heart’s content, keeping the kids busy on a rainy day.
3. These mini cakes
Tiny pies aren’t the only thing bottle caps are good for. Indeed, they can also be used as the bases for some adorable miniature cakes. For the icing, simply whip up some play dough and add food coloring to match whatever flavor you’d like, before adding the finished cakes to a doll’s tea party – your kids will love them.
If you feel like your home décor isn’t quirky enough, then this bunting may be right up your street. After all, it’s a deceptively simple concept but really adds a touch of vintage glamor to any space in which you hang it. Just make sure to pick out some cool, retro bottle caps, rather than having them all say, “Coca-Cola.”
Because normal thumbtacks are way too plain and boring, you can create your own to spice things up. All you need are bottlecaps and some tiny pictures to use for the inserts. Indeed, the only real limit here is your imagination – you could use photos of your family, friends, pets or even create some cool pop culture-inspired tacks.